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In most workplaces, it’s usually easy to pick out the biggest safety hazards and concerns. However, sometimes ergonomic hazards get overlooked because they don’t create an immediate threat to the safety of employees.
But just because they create long-term health concerns rather than short-term safety risks doesn’t mean that it’s not important to be ergonomic in the workplace. To make sure your company doesn’t overlook good ergonomic practices, we wanted to share some of the biggest ergonomic concerns in most workplaces to help you be aware of them and stay ahead of the curve in this area.
Most employers can recognize that heavy lifting can be a health hazard because of the strain that it puts on someone’s body. But don’t forget that frequent lifting, even if the objects aren’t that heavy, can be equally stressful. This is particularly true if lightweight objects have to be lifted and carried a long distance. In these situations, workers must be instructed on how to maintain proper posture and technique while lifting objects. If lifting isn’t done correctly, back problems can become common, even if employees aren’t carrying a lot of weight.
Exposure to loud noises can have a damaging effect on a person’s long-term hearing. Of course, it’s possible to predict when loud noises are going to occur. However, a sustained noise at a certain volume can be even more harmful than an excessive amount of noise in short bursts. Construction sites and manufacturing settings are good examples where this type of noise is present. In these situations, it’s essential to offer workers earplugs or earmuffs that can help prevent damage to their hearing if they spend day after day in a noisy work environment.
Most businesses should consider poor lighting something that should be avoided at all costs. For starters, poor lighting can lead to mistakes and accidents that could have easily been prevented if employees could have seen what they were doing better. Also, if employees have to strain their eyes because of poor lighting – sometimes without even realizing it – they can become vulnerable to headaches and other types of discomfort. This is bad news for their health and can also be a factor in workplace accidents.
In theory, employees who sit at a desk all day are safe from most safety hazards. But there are health threats to this kind of work too. Staying in a sedentary position all day can lead to long-term damage to muscles and joints, leading to neck pain, back pain, and other types of discomfort. After all, human bodies weren’t designed to stay in the same position all day. To combat this, make sure employees have opportunities to walk, stretch, and get a little exercise during the course of the workday.
Along with sedentary work, poor posture is an ergonomic concern in most office settings. If employees are awkwardly positioned in their chairs and desks for long periods, it can lead to muscle aches and discomfort that can be prevented. It’s up to employers to provide ergonomically friendly chairs, desks, and other equipment that can help promote healthy posture.
The best thing that any employer can do to prevent accidents and identify ergonomic concerns is to have the right safety system in place. Fortunately, the software solutions offered by EHS Insight can help any business manage safety hazards effectively. Our system is a proven way of managing all elements of workplace health and safety, including hazard identification, safety training, and even compliance matters. It’s the best way of making sure your business is staying on top of all safety-related tasks and concerns and doing everything possible to protect employees.
If you want your business to stay on top of all health and safety concerns, contact us and we can have our software fully operational in no time.
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